A little late, but in retrospect, 2001 was a terrific year for music. I was heart-broken that I couldn’t choose more than 1 cd for album of the year…get those honourable mention cd’s, too!
Album of the Year: not even a cd that would fit in with this site, or even the cd I listened to the most
this year, but Joy Electric’s The White Songbook takes the award for its stunning display of synthpop. The attention to detail is jaw dropping. You’ve never heard synth music (or music period) as well-crafted as this. The songwriting and lyrical imagery are equally jaw breaking. I can’t listen to this cd too much, because it is such an overwhelming experience for me, like watching “schindler’s list” or something. crazy good stuff. all music fans need this cd.
Artist of the Year: They released two brilliant cd’s (well, a cd and 1/2 of another one), then broke up. Only the boys from the Lassie Foundation could pull it off. Then, members of the same band show up in the incredible Charity Empressa full-length debut. one of them owns a label (northern records) that keeps churning out high quality music, too. oh, and a whole bunch of the guys appeared on the incredible Cush ep. crazy! 2001 was indeed the year of Lassie.
Honourable Mentions: Wow. Any one of these can be desert island discs for me. Here are some incredible discs from 2001:
Ester Drang: Goldenwest – Highly creative space-rock that stayed in my player all year long. moving melodies, great performances, all in all a great dream/space disc.
The melody Unit: Choose Your Own Adventure – The perfect dream pop disc, ever. an insanely good combination of dreamy guitars and effects mixed with strong, catchy melodies. ambience vs melody..and both sides win. why isn’t this my # 1 disc of the year? good question, until you hear the joy e. disc. the most heavily listened to disc for me this year (and it came out in the fall…figure that out!)
The Lassie Foundation and Duraluxe: I Duel Sioux – Two pop-rock bands duel it out, making ferocious melodies glisten in my ears. uhh, you get the idea!
The Lassie Foundation: El Dorado – The last hurrah for the group features the group trying out all sorts of different musical ideas, to a wonderful effect. r.i.p., Lassie.
Electro Group: A New Pacifica – Thick, wall of guitar sounds, with a falsetto male singing wonderful melodies underneath all that noise. Shoegaze is back, west coast style!
Frank Lenz: The Hot Stuff – 40 minutes of 70’s groove from the former drummer of Lassie Foundation. A surprising and head-bobbing effort featuring amazing performances in keys, horns, guitars, and of course, drums.
Charity Empressa: S/T – The Lassie Foundation guitarist Eric Campuzano takes the listener to drone school. 70 minutes of speaker shredding sonics with guest vocals by an all-star cast. wowza!).
Best EP: Well, yet another cd that really doesn’t fit in with this site’s ethic of quiet, sparse, and dreamy music, but there’s just no way I can deny cush an award for best ep with their self-titled released in the summer. crazy, loud, ROCK, with a capital R. crazy guitars, insane drums, singers just screaming and posing all over the place. Rumoured to be recorded in a day (the music), this ep is 8 tracks of rocking goodness. I loved it and played it all year long. honourable mention: well, I really loved the Melody Unit’s 7″ Kona Song containing alternate versions of two songs that appeared on choose your own adventure. they just play great music, and these versions just help the songs to really shine.